Here’s another scary recent incident in the news pertaining to sleepiness.
In Prague, Czech Republic, a woman in a train station appeared to fall asleep while standing and waiting for her train. Take a look at this.
This video is fascinating. From a couple different camera angles you witness this woman gradually giving in to the relentless pressure of sleepiness. She slowly leans forward as slumber starts to overtake her. She rights herself briefly in an attempt to regain alertness, but she then walks forward a bit and eventually leans in again, knees buckling, until her body weight finally forces her to tumble onto the train tracks. Miraculously, she lands in the deep groove between the tracks, and though the train rolls over her she reportedly gets up, dusts herself off, and walks away after the train departs from the station!
According to reports, upon being questioned her following the incident, this woman told law enforcement officers that she was “merely tired.” She refused a medical evaluation and breathalyzer test.
This is a dramatic example of the inevitable effects of daytime sleepiness, regardless of cause. You may have untreated sleep apnea or you may be simply chronically sleep deprived, but the bottom line is that a primary response of your body to poor-quality or poor-quantity sleep is that at some point you will be forced to sleep, including in inopportune times or places and in very dangerous situations. I’ve had patients, for example, who have come to my clinic because they’ve fallen asleep behind the wheel of their 18-wheel trucks, at the controls of their motorcycles on the freeway, in the cab of their cranes, and in front of industrial saws. No matter how much you try and no matter how bad your insomnia may be, your body will give in eventually and oblige you to sleep. Remember, sleep is a required biological requirement; you absolutely need your sleep, and your body will make you get it one way or another.
Have a great Independence Day, everyone!